ESRC Seminar Series

Shaping Society

Fostering Sustainable Development: Examining the challenges posed by maritime insecurity


The seminar series investigated the relationship between sustainable development and maritime security facilitating increased maritime domain awareness. At its most basic the maritime domain is defined as the sea, navigable waterways and all activities associated with them. While a security challenge such as piracy, specifically off the Horn of Africa, has increasingly been the subject of news coverage, an 13100-14-maritime-security-blog-header-v4assessment of the impact such challenges have on the populations of developing countries themselves and the impediments maritime insecurity can have on development efforts remains understudied. Beyond piracy the maritime domain is also exploited by those involved in Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (I
UU) fishing, the dumping of toxic waste, and in the trafficking of illegal drugs to name just three examples, illustrating the breadth of the challenges faced.

The seminar series consisted of six seminars delivered over a two year period (2014-2015), three of which examine specific cases of maritime insecurity, drawing specifically on experiences in waters off African countries, a continent where development efforts have long been focused. Each seminar was
structured so as to facilitate participant discussion, with academics, policy makers and practitioners from around the world invited to ensure different insights are shared, new relationships forged, and policy-relevant conclusions drawn. It is hoped that the process of investigating the relationship between sustainable development and maritime security in this seminar series will help contribute to the emergence of development efforts that are even more responsive to the needs of local populations.